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Why I Believe the World Needs Cheese

By H.G. Miller

Let's face it. In the fields of theoretical research, the dairy industry has been left relatively untouched. Sure, we can all get a tour of the local cattle farm and maybe spend ten minutes fondling the utters of a heifer named Bessie, but how does this lead us to true enlightenment?

Any individual who has reached beyond themselves in the search for truth (or, had to take a class in philosophy 101 at whatever community college let them in) knows that there is more to processed Kraft Singles than some yellowish cheese and clear cellophane wrapper. If they've really thought about it, I mean.

No, I am not high right now.

I'd like to quote Nietzsche here in saying that “[t]ragedy is so far from providing evidence for pessimism among the Hellenes in Schopenhauer's sense that it has to be considered the decisive repudiation of that idea and the counter-verdict to it”, and while this really has nothing to do with anything, I believe he makes a poignant point. And, while I don't necessarily know what it is, that will not stop me from drawing my own conclusions.

The world needs cheese. There, I've said it. Lock me up if you'd like, but you can't conceal the truth forever.

Can you imagine a world without cheese? A lactose-intolerant cripple's fantasy? Grocery stores with half of aisle three missing? It's horrifying. If this were a movie, the lead character would have to be played by Charlton Heston in his prime, or maybe John Travolta just before all of those talking baby movies. I'm talking real tragedy here.

But, let's pause for a moment. Perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. Why not first tell you what cheese means to me? Why not, indeed.

When I was a little boy, my mother used to make me these grilled cheese sandwiches. You know the type. Bread, butter, cheese and an appropriate amount of bacon grease, all grilled at 350 degrees for a period of approximately four minutes. Those were good days and great meals.

I still like to cook these delicious meals today. Oftentimes, when dates first visit my apartment. Of course, my being single is really irrelevant. The point is, grilled cheese sandwiches remind me of better times.

Maybe it's the greasy fingers, or the film of coagulating cheese just outside the charred crust of bread, or the heavy beating of my heart, but something in my arteries tells me that ancient cheese is still with me today.

I just can't imagine life without that memory. I feel that cheese is one of those few foods that really holds the fabric of our society together. The kind of product that helps us to trace the evolution of the human race.

Did they have cheese in the stone age? I think they worshipped cows back then, with little thought to the delicious by-products hidden within. Nowadays - with those weird foreign countries aside - we line cows up by the thousands and have machines milk them for all their worth.

Is this progress? Or have we given up our gods for the sake of convenient, unhealthy, mass-produced dairy delicacies? Is it a sign of our technological advancement that we've gone from a street-side vendor in the renaissance selling whatever he found at the top of his milk bucket to present day's brightly-packaged, vacuum-sealed and ready-to-eat party dips? Or has the little business man been crushed by corporate America?

As with all great philosophies, cheese really offers more questions than answers. However, I think that by opening up a debate on the subject, we may be able to find ourselves a deeper understanding of who we are and where we came from.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally be able to stare at the wall of shredded cheese in aisle three, stroke my chin, and say, “yeah…”